Workout for the Week: How to Train According to the Heart
Memory Verse: Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV)
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
Meditation Passage: Romans 8:5-14
Key Thought: I must train my flesh to follow my heart.
Feet churned and arms pumped as I glanced at my heart monitor. Too low. My legs complained as I pushed for speed and a higher heart rate.
Athletes often train with a heart monitor. The reason? A runner’s perceived effort is usually incorrect. A heart monitor gives a true picture of what’s going on, and the athlete can adjust his pace accordingly.
Often, my legs and my heart are on two different pages. Though my heart monitor says to pick up the pace, my legs are screaming at me to stop. I have to retrain my legs to match the conditioning of my heart.
The same thing holds true spiritually. When I decided to follow Christ, I became a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). God gave me a new heart.
The body remained the same, and it had been trained to follow the old heart. The sinful one.
For example, though my new heart recognizes God’s goodness and the work of His Spirit, the rest of me zeroes in on what’s wrong or what’s missing. I’m distracted from the good thing right under my nose because the old me chases negativity like my Lab chases squirrels.
I need retraining—retraining that requires my mind and body to follow my heart.
Here’s a training tip for each day this week with a specific application to God’s goodness:
- Write down five things for which you are thankful. Every day. This doesn’t have to be anything major. Hot showers and iced tea work for me.
- Get outside today. Stop and smell the roses. Literally. Look around. Let God speak through His wonders.
- Fast from negativity. For one day, erase all negative or critical comments from your speech. If it helps to avoid social media and the news, turn them off.
- Encourage three people this week.
- Be kind to yourself. How has God uniquely designed you? Embrace it.
- Spend time in worship. Life gets better as God gets bigger.
As you retrain your mind and body, pass your wisdom and experience to others. We all struggle with the flesh and, like physical workouts, it helps to train with others. For those unbelievers in your life, connect the good things in life with God—because they won’t. They can’t. You operate on a different level than the rest of the world. Who better to point out God’s goodness than one of His kids?
Nail your spiritual workouts this week and change your corner of the gym.
P.S. Hey guys! First, thank you so much for allowing me to share life with you. It’s a privilege, and I appreciate your time. Second, I’m trying a new format. If you have a second, tell me what you think or if there’s anything special you’d like to see. Thanks!
I must train my flesh to follow my heart. Click to tweet.
Let God speak through His wonders. Click to tweet.
Fast from negativity. Click to tweet.
Life gets better as God gets bigger. Click to tweet.
Connect the good things in life with God. Click to tweet.